Where do the weeks go? Since last Friday’s update the fiscal committee cut-off passed, and since Tuesday Feb. 8, the House and Senate have been very busy passing many, many bills, with many more to come! Both chambers will likely work on Saturday as the house of origin cut-off is Tuesday, Feb. 15. As we know, the days fly by, and that cut-off will be here before we know it!
 
Beginning on Wednesday Feb. 16, committees will resume their work, hearing bills from the opposite house. Some committees will have many bills referred to them and some, probably not so many. The cut-off for bills to get through the policy committees on the opposite side is Feb. 24,, which really is a short period of time for quite a bit of work!
 
As you are likely aware, the Governor had a press conference on February 9th about projected upcoming changes related to mask mandates and other COVID-related policies. We don’t know, other than allowing more legislators on the floor of the House and Senate, if/how the changes will impact the legislative session but for now, it continues to be primarily remote. Again, it’s one week at a time! 
 
House and Senate floor action can all be viewed on TVW (TVW.org) so if you are following various bills and want to hear the debate, please tune in. TVW has live coverage, but also archives programs; if you know the date the bill was heard (you can find that out by looking at the bill’s history on leg.wa.gov), you can review the debate on the bill! 
 
A few bills of note that have recently passed out of their original house:
HB1800 – Increasing access to behavioral health services for minors
HB1890 – Strategic plan for children/youth behavioral health
SB5883 – Homeless youth health care
SB5793 – Stipends for people with lived experience
 
Please use the Partners for Our Children weekly bill tracker for a status update on many more bills! 
 
As always, reach out with any questions or comments.
 
Thank you! Have a good weekend and week ahead.